New Youth Forum with Direct Link to the Prime Minister

  • Deborah Morris
Youth Affairs

Young New Zealanders will have better representation at the highest level of Government with a new initiative announced today by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jenny Shipley, and Youth Affairs Minister, Hon Deborah Morris.

A new Prime Minister's Youth Advisory Forum will meet with the Prime Minister once a year and the Minister of Youth Affairs twice a year.

Deborah Morris said, "There has been no formal youth advisory body since the National Youth Council ended in 1990. I have consistently lobbied Government, local government and community organisations on the need to improve the involvement of young people in decision making. It is great that this Government is able to lead the way in youth participation."

"The Youth Advisory Forum will provide me with the opportunity to discuss with young New Zealanders a wide range of issues important to them. Ultimately, the views and experiences of youth will add value to Government decisions affecting young New Zealanders, both now and in the future," Mrs Shipley said.

"If we expect to improve the status of youth we have to let young people design their own services. We have to listen. That is a challenge for a lot of decision makers. The Government is taking the lead and I hope that others will follow," said Deborah Morris

Young people will be able to apply to join the Prime Minister's Youth Advisory Forum. The Prime Minister will then personally invite 12-15 young people to participate.

People wanting to apply must be aged 12 to 25 years and can obtain further information from the Ministry of Youth Affairs, PO Box 10-300, 48 Mulgrave St, Wellington, Fax: 04 471 2239, Email: info@youthaffairs.govt.nz